Monday, October 31, 2011

Everybody wants to rule the world

Not quite a return to my top 10 list-making, but here are 5 ‘bad guys’ I shouldn’t love, but do anyway. And hey, t’is a far better way to spend a Monday morning than the alternative. Come along, my loves, let’s take over the world!

  • The Master
John Simm’s version, naturally. With the smart suit, and the dancing, and event-appropriate music choices, what’s not to love here? So he’s a little unhinged, it’s still good! Even when he rises Voldemort-esque from the void and impersonates Iron Man in a dodgy track suit, I still find his craziness rather endearing. Forget that Lucy woman, let’s watch the world burn (I am terrible person, aren’t I?)

The Master approves of my destructive tendencies.
  • Loki
Oh, Loki. You just want to be loved, don’t you? With that burly older brother always stealing the spotlight and acting like he’s the greatest thing ever, when everyone knows brains > muscle. But don’t worry, not everyone is totally blinded by Thor’s abs, I know you’re the interesting one. You might have to work on your mythical penchant for shapeshifting, but I’m not here to judge! Hey, you know what, he’s the Scar of Asgard. And say what you will, life would certainly never be boring.

That's right, I'm talking about you.
Trust me, brother. Mwhahaha. Oh wait, I’m not cackling out loud again, am I?
Aaaand the promo poster because that smirk is just…unfh.
  • Ozymandias
But only in the movie! Not in the graphic novel. He’s a totally annoying prat in that. In the movie, I find his lofty ideals sort of intoxicating, and considering what a woeful state the rest of the world’s in, who can blame him for wanting to take over? Plus he’s very pretty here, without being too terrifyingly Aryan. Also he bio-engineers his own weird pets. That’s a pretty good rainy-day pastime. (I don’t care what anyone says, Matthew Goode, you single-handedly redeemed this thing for me. Who are you calling shallow? Stop it. I do what I want, Thor!)
Yeah. Ozymandias is unimpressed with my reasoning. As he is with everything else.
Also, what is it with supervillains and the colour purple?
  • The Phantom of the Opera
While he’s not evil in a hell-bent-on-world-domination way, he's still kind of a 'bad guy.' Some people (ie my mother) think the Phantom is a creepy murderer. So he hangs the odd stage hand from the rafters, does that mean he doesn’t deserve affection? Stage hands can be annoying okay, and they were totally disrespecting his genius. I am a firm champion of the Phantom’s cause – so much so that I harbour a strong dislike for Raoul. He totally ruins everything! And alright, sure, maybe the Phantom comes on a little strong with the whole wedding-dress-in-the-lair thing, but please. The dude has no social skills at all, give him a break! 
Oh forget her, Erik. She doesn’t understand your tortured genius.
Quite a sharp dresser too.
  • Magneto/Erik Lensherr etc etc (too many names)
Let's face it, humans suck. They routinely do horrible things to each other. Can you blame mutants for thinking it might be better if we weren’t around? Especially mutants who have suffered first hand the cruelty we inflict upon each other? Come on, you can totally understand where he’s coming from. Ugh and to think it could so easily have been different – if Charles was just a little less self-assured, and Erik just a little less unyielding, it could have gone the other way and he wouldn’t even be on this list. But here we are. Not that I’m naive enough like Mystique to think I can come between Magneto and his totally made for each other ex-BFF. And yes, this choice has everything to do with the brilliant acting skills of Sir Ian McKellen and the fantastic Mr Fassbender. It doesn’t hurt that the latter also looks great in a turtleneck. Not at all.

Somehow I don’t look as ridiculous in my
supervillain get-up as my younger self…
…but he makes up for it in other ways.
Oh yes, he does.
And now I kind of want a comic strip with this lot trying to take over the world in an Evil League of Evil/ Pinky and the Brain kind of way. I don’t think they’d play well together. It’d be hilarious. To the Villain mobile!

Anyway! Happy Monday.
Click for source

PS. I still don't understand why we're not friends, McAvoy. Life is cruel.

Music: Here in your arms - Hellogoodbye

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Echoes of a city

I have the new Florence + The Machine playing, the neighbourhood is quieting down and Oreo is snuffling outside under the window. All in all, things aren't too shabby. I'm utterly exhausted and should really be doing other things but you know, still.

The move is pretty much complete. Just a couple more boxes to unpack and things to move into place, but generally, it resembles a house.

New room
New study
I at least won't be heading back to the old place again. I'll miss it, but I can't deny the new place has a lot more room. Dad's certainly appreciating the lack of stairs. The community is very friendly too - and very family-orientated. All the kids in the street seem to be playing together outside all the time. It's sort of charming in an old-fashioned kind of way.

I took time out of the horrors of moving/cleaning last night to attend a Halloween shindig hosted by lovely people from my writers group. As I'm too cheap to invest in a proper costume at the moment, I instead raided my wardrobe and went as Ramona Flowers. I think it worked out pretty well!
Not the greatest pic - someone, somewhere has a full-length I'll share at some point. But I have to admit I really loved being Ramona. She's awesome. It was a fun night too, I'm glad I managed to drag my sore, sorry self out for it. Everyone made an effort and dressed up and were generally brilliant - quite a feat for an Australian Halloween thing (I blame the heat, it's always too hot for any costuming). Also, almost everyone recognised who I was meant to be which I feel is a testament to the level of awesome of the people I hang out with. Yes, awesome is my word du jour lately. Don't know why.

Finally, today marks the tenth anniversary of our arrival in Australia. It feels like it's been a lot longer somehow. I am forever grateful to my parents for making the hard decision when it came up. No matter where I may wander off to, I'll always love you Sydney.

Now I think I might go and collapse in a pile somewhere. And catch up on some Merlin.

In the meantime, tell me which cover of the X-Men: First Class limited edition I should buy! Charles or Erik? I can't decide!

Music: Heartlines - Florence + The Machine

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A whole lot worse for wear

Things that suck about moving…

Oh wait, making a list of that would take far, far, faaaar too long. It is not an enjoyable undertaking whatsoever. Still, things are chugging along. It seems to be taking forever because we’re sort of doing it in drips and drabs as we all coem home from work. So far I’ve managed to completely transpose my room, study and bathroom – although the latter is not completely unpacked due to a lack of shelves. Most of the kitchen has also been moved, thanks to the very efficient assistance from M and A. Awesome friends are awesome.

I’ve been staying in the new place by myself since Sunday night, the house creaks like there’s an axe-murderer on the roof so it’s taken some getting used to. I also desperately miss having Oreo with me all the time – I can’t even imagine how much I’m going to miss her next year. Woe. But! Tomorrow the movers will be transporting all the big stuff over and then it’ll pretty much be home. Only have to unpack and clean the old place. Ugh.

I am covered in so many bruises I can’t even count them. There are three on my left hand alone. It’s quite the worry being both spatially challenged and an easy bruiser. I also have to wear a wrist support since I’ve managed to acquire a pretty nasty case of RSI and lugging stuff up and down stairs isn’t really helping. So yeah, pretty much just falling apart.

Cannot wait for it to be over. No mooore booooxes.

In other news –

I didn’t realise how much this meant until they finally actually won it. I’m just so proud of this team, my team, I could combust with happiness. They nearly gave me a heart attack, but hey, they did it.

I would just like to give credit to Stephen Donald’s shirt — in a highly stressful time, the fact that it clearly wasn’t made for him amused me greatly. The poor guy! That number 10 shirt must’ve been cursed. Insanity.

How lame is this, I still break out in a giant grin just thinking about it *shakes head*

There has also been progress on the Trip front – I booked our Venice accommodation last night which means we’re all set for Carnevale. Excitement abounds!

There’s a lot more to be said but no time to say it. Busy times at work (as usual) and chaos at home. I’m so tired, I feel like my head is floating somewhere near the ceiling.

Music: Casanova, baby! - The Gaslight Anthem

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend's worth of thoughts

Out of all my pet peeves, I think the thing I hate the most is being copied. It makes me irately annoyed. But it’s also funny because Em knows how much I loathe it and she always starts laughing in a knowing sort of way whenever it happens and that, in turn, gets me laughing. It’s probably a more healthy response. So thanks for that Em, you’re probably doing wonders for my blood pressure!

On the opposite end of the mood scale, pure euphoria last night with the All Blacks through to the final. Woo! I was almost too nervous to watch the game, I just couldn’t bear the thought of it all going horribly wrong – especially against Australia. I was majorly stressed for most of it, but luckily everything held together. We have to win this thing. Not only because we deserve it, but also for Dan. Ugh, my heart breaks for the guy. If I feel utterly devastated, I can't imagine how he feels. So anyway. I am so excited for the final. It really should have been against Wales though. France has been playing terribly all tournament, it’s pure luck that they’ve made it this far. Ah well.

In other news, applying for my visa tonight. Eee! And probably buying tickets and booking accommodation this week. I’ve just this moment sent off a message to my cousin with dates so if he can put me up, I’ll be off to Botswana at the end of December. I am hoping it works out, I am dying for a safari. I can’t believe how soon it all is – it feels both insanely real and somehow intangible. I’m itching to set off and at the same time, I’m already missing everyone and everything. My puppy mostly, I’m constantly randomly attacking her with cuddles much to her confusion.

She’s very unsettled at the moment cause mum and I started packing on the weekend. She sits and watches me with this look that says ‘There is mischief afoot!’ And then she’s poking her nose in boxes and titling her head in a way to clearly asks ‘What witchcraft is this?’ But seriously, she’s not keen on all this packing activity. She probably thinks we’re going on holiday without her again.

Ugh. Packing. Slow and arduous. We did most of the study on Sunday. Books! So many books! I did throw out about three bags worth of stuff and have another bag to donate (not books, we don’t throw out books in my household) but there’s still so much! How does one accumulate so much crap and fit it all in tiny rooms? Sigh. We’ll probably start the kitchen tonight. Double sigh. I’m already covered in bruises and we haven’t even started the actual moving yet. Bodes well.

Can't stop yawning. I was up at 5.30 this morning, a time reserved for those in the first circle of hell. I have so much work to do, I figured I’d come in early but even though I left home way earlier than normal, I still got to work at the time I usually do. WHAT. Why dost thou mock me, traffic?

Speaking of work and its quantities, better get back to it. Can’t even think about how many profiles I need to write or I’ll be paralysed with apprehension.

Music: American Slang - The Gaslight Anthem

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pretending to live in The Lion King

This is my cousin’s (technically uncle, but he’s only 4 years older than me so we don't bother with semantics) photography page. He works in the Chobe National Park which I think makes him the person with the best workplace I know. Do you get to see lions and leopards and wild dogs at your office? Precisely.

Anyway, on one of my rare forays onto Facebook last night we got to chatting and he invited me to visit. Dudes. I am too weak to resist. You have no idea how much I love the African bush. Just…yes. Cue one of my typical flights of fancy! I'm seriously considering it. Seeing as my family are all in bloody Cape Town in December when I was going to stay with them I’m thinking hey, maybe I can just pop up to Botswana for a bit instead. If I fly out here on Boxing Day and then catch a flight up to Livingstone (cause I’m not flying into Zimbabwe, thanks), he can just come pick me up. Right? Right?? It’s totally doable. Plus I can write lots of travel pieces for them so it’s value added having me there. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Logistically, it's not too much of a stretch. I can fly up there for $250 and stay for a week, go back to Jo’burg in preparation for ze wedding (and for that I still need to convince someone to drive me there/back) and then off to Londres. There for about a week until R arrives and then Paris! I am starting to get a little (see also: hugely) excited.

Before then I still need to do a boatload of stuff though. Get visa(s), an international drivers license maybe), travel insurance…tickets. Buy supplies like new headphones and socks and a light-weight towel and one of those sleeping bag insert thingies. Look into internet options and phone options. Talk to all the mag editors and set up freelance work – and for that I think I need a BSB. All sorts of things!

And time is running out. It’s already the middle of October. Little over two months until I’m jobless and getting ready to leave. Did I mention I’m also a little terrified? Cause I am. Bit of a big deal, taking off for so long. But good too. Necessary. I earned it.


Music: The quiet things no one ever knows - Brand New

Monday, October 10, 2011

Catch me if you can

Okay. Lots of things have happened and most have been detrimental to my mood, which has been consistently terrible since Wednesday.

Firstly, The Academy Is… has officially called it quits. William announced it yesterday. It’s not entirely unexpected – with them all being all over the place – but it’s still sad. TAI was one of my favourite bands, and they’re one of the few bands that I’ve known since before their official first album. I wasn’t there for the whole 8 year journey, but it had to be 5 years at least. That said, I completely understand where they’re coming from. We’re all practically the same age and if I think of how I have changed, and what I’ve wanted to move on from, through the last 8 years, it only makes sense for them to feel the same. Such is life.

But I will miss TAI terribly all the same. Though I’m sure the boys will pop up in other things from time to time. I’ll always have three albums I adore and, of course, the memories – seeing them play every time they came out here, the meet and greet, the surfboard…oh dear god, the surfboard *headdesk*

On some level it feels like 2011 is holding up a giant neon sign declaring ‘It’s over. You’re grown up.’ And I can’t say I particularly care for it. It feels like everything has ended, the last remnants of life before responsible adulthood have all crumbled away. And honestly? I’m just not ready yet. This adulthood thing…it’s not good. I’ll have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it, and I’ll have to be caught first. Ah well. At least I’ll always have Green Day.

On the topic of responsibility and reality and how much it sucks, we were informed on Thursday that the house we’re in is being sold. You know what that means – it’s moving time. Again. I’m not going to lie to you, internet, I was utterly devastated by this news. I love the house we’re in now, it’s pretty much the kind of house I’ve always wanted. I love the deck and being able to lie in my hammock and just let the world go by. I love that it has a open, sprawling kitchen. I love that everything is on levels. I love that I have a room that’s not a shoebox. I love that it backs onto a reserve so it doesn’t feel like your fenced in and stuck in suburbia. I love that there’s even wildlife popping up these days – at the moment we have ducklings waddling down the street. Ducklings. And I love the area, with shops nearby, great library and the beach 20 minutes away. Just…yeah. I’m very disappointed. If I was three years old, I would chuck a giant tantrum and refuse to leave. And I’d expect my parents to sort it out.

Unfortunately, that sort of attitude doesn’t really work anymore so instead I’m saddled with a feeling of responsibility and general unhappiness. See? There's that adulthood thing again. My parents aren’t taking it too well – especially my dad who takes every reminder that we rent as a personal attack on him. They're not natural renters (which is why they keep building/painting etc at our own expense and inadvertently pushing the property values up, idiots that we are) and it hits dad very hard that he doesn’t have a place of his own. Despite my numerous attempts at convincing him that owning a house in Sydney is actually rather shit cause you’re stuck with a ginormous mortgage that you’ll probably never pay off, he still gets depressed about it. But you know, the simple fact of the matter is that my parents gave up a house and a comfortable lifestyle when they moved here, and I think it makes him feel like a failure that he can’t buy a house here. Frankly I think having an great standard of living is way better than being saddled with a huge debt-in-house-form but you know, whatever. When it comes to packing up all your crap and trying to find a new place for the third time in two years, I can understand why the lack of stability makes him miserable.

Of course, despite knowing me all my life, my parents still fail to realise that I am highly tuned to other peope’s emotions and the fact that I have a habit of suppressing my own in favour of carrying theirs goes completely unnoticed. But when I’m stressed and I snap, I’m the one who ends up in the dog house. Good times.

Anyway. We’ve applied for a new place so hopefully we’ll get that. It would be as straightforward and as painless as these things can be. Which probably means it won’t happen. What? I’m a natural pessimist. It helps me manage disappointment. The area we’re looking at is about twenty five minutes from where we are now…in fact, it’s just down the road from the doctor’s surgery I used to work at. It’s further away from my current job, so that’ll mean even more traffic (thankfully only 52 days to go) and it makes the weekend job I got kind of annoying as well (what used to be my local shopping centre is now a 30min drive away.)

It’s a nice area and I'm trying to be upbeat about it, but it’s definitely not as great as where we are now. Unfortunately the houses in our current area are going for about $800-$1000 a week, which is pretty steep – especially since I won’t be contributing to rent next year. But you know, all things told, it’s probably better to move. Both the 'rents have messed up their knees and the stairs weren’t really helping things. The house we’re hoping to get is freshly painted and carpeted and quite big, so there won’t be a lack of room at least.

Oh whatever. Doesn’t help to ponder these things. It has to be done and that’s it. We’ll deal. It’s more a case of it being unexpected…and being too comfortable were we are. I am going to do a major clean out this time though – I’m not lugging all that junk around again. I’ve reached the point where I’m quite happy to be ruthless. Ebay all the things!

In other news, yes, I finally got a second job. So I’ll be working pretty much all the time from mid November until Christmas eve. At “normal” work, things continue to be entirely batshit insane and one of the ad reps made a complaint about me to management on Thursday because he doesn’t like my attitude. I am cheerfully setting his car on fire with my mind. My parents aren’t speaking to me because I got annoyed at them for keeping me out all day Saturday after I was promised it wouldn’t be a late one and because I made the mistake of telling them I just wanted to be left alone, which they’re now taking to petty extremes. I’m not going to apologise either cause I’m still resentful of the fact that I always have to be everyone’s emotional support and yet the minute I slip up, that’s held up as some sort of trademark behaviour. It’s just like at work – no one ever notices when you’re doing things well, but make one mistake and you never hear the end of it.

It’s especially aggravating because I only went along on Saturday to help them out, a) by driving into the city and b) by keeping mum company as I know she doesn’t like going to these rugby things by herself because dad is useless and usually abandons her within 2 seconds flat (he is like a toddler, you have no idea). And I voiced all my reservations before we left so they were well aware of how I felt. But my dad doesn’t think, ever, so he agrees to things on a whim and so, at 11pm, I’m in Chinatown with a bunch of middle-aged couples. And all of them keep telling what a good daughter I am, how they wish their kids would come out with them and blah blah blah. Do my parents think so? No. Two days later, I'm still a pariah. Charming.

BUT! It’s not all annoyance. I attended a lovely High Tea at the Shangri La hotel yesterday, courtesy of L. It was prefectly decadent and exactly the right kind of escapism. Plus I got to catch up with R and K for a bit, always nice and relaxing. My friends always know when to save my sanity.

Now, back to work I suppose. The way things are going here, I won’t be surprised if I’m working till 7 or 8 every night this week. Sigh.

Music: Daytripper - The Beatles

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Washed out by the side of the road

While I’m waiting for my new phone to arrive, I’m using one of my ye olde phones – a flip phone from what must be about 7 years ago. I’ve had the hiptops so long that it feels practically prehistoric. The last time I used it was in 09, when I took it to Europe with me in order to avoid ginormous roaming charges (it worked.) It didn’t feel quite so outdated then, but now…well.

It’s a bit of a time warp – a unique insight into the past, if you will. The phone’s display screen on the front has a pic of William Beckett, the background is Billie Joe and the ringtone is ‘There’s a good reason these tables are numbered.’ The hilarious thing however is that it’s filled with old text messages from first year of uni. Mostly about bands and band boys. And lots of subterfuge messages from M about transferring out of her course. And lots of picture messages of really random things, including one of Pete Wentz with the subject line ‘Bringing Sexy Back’. Hahahaha. Ah dear. My friends are awesome.

There are some stellar examples of eloquence, I just have to share some of it.

Run rabbit run rabbit run run run. Don’t give the farmer his fun fun fun…BLAHAHA!

I agree. The braaaaaaiiins made us do it.

But we DO all know that frogs go la di da di da la di da di da la di da di da! They don’t go gloomp gloomp gloomp!

This whole trip was as useless as that yellow lemon shaped rock over there. Wait a minute, there’s a lemon behind that rock!

Ryan, what the FUCK are we going to do about these mimes!?

O Wise One, where would I be without your infinite wisdom?

Lord Vader... Rise...

We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy!

Beware of women with prams!

I’m sending my Brian as extra protection.

*cue power rangers style arm flailing*

We clearly mostly conversed in quotes and/or obscure references. We also liked exclamation marks. So really, not much has changed. Although I have realised I don’t text nearly as much as I did back then – I guess it’s been supplanted with email and twitter. Ah technology, always morphing into something else.

But enough of the blast from the past, time to get to work. Two deadlines coming up - gah. It’s enough to make one weep.

Music: Film Noir - The Gaslight Anthem

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All hail the four day weekend

I have just returned from my graduation. Third time, don't you know. It all went smoothly, even though I had to navigate stairs in heels - it was at the Conference and Exhibition Centre this time, rather than the uni Great Hall. I didn't fall over and that is the main thing. It was nice to catch up with some of the others, I made at least two good friends during Masters. The parentals spent far too much time running around being nutters and buying a lot of random stuff, but what can you do. We rounded the day off with an early dinner in the city.  Overall, not a bad end to a long weekend.

I may have had four days off but predictably, I have done nothing I was supposed to. I had a list and everything! Ugh. I need more time and/or self-discipline. Especially when it comes to shopping. But, as I keep telling myself, it's trip related.

I have acquired the following -

I am in love with these Dr. Martens. Mum took me to see them on Sunday and I just couldn't turn my back on them. She knows me oh so very well. They're very vintage, very WWI military style and they have these awesome ribbon laces. You can fold it down so it's a half-boot as well, nice and versatile.

Mum's been on my case about getting "proper walking shoes" for the trip but as I have an aversion to hiking boots, it's been fairly painful for both of us. Until I discovered Converse do an 'outsider' range of shoes based on a design they did for the military way back when. It's leather, removing the rain problem you'd have with cons, and also has a little more lift in the heel and thicker soles. Kinda vintage, totally awesome. I'm very pleased with it cause let's face it, cons suit my wardrobe way better than a hiking shoe ever would.

Of course today also marks the day that Donna, my hiptop/sidekick, officially stopped working. The operating system has been switched off and she's no longer with us. I loved that phone, we've had some great times. Out of all the phones I've had so far in my life, I was most attached to these. But technology waits for no man and until it eventually rises up and enslaves us, I guess you have to keep up. So I ordered this instead, still waiting for it to arrive -
It's a Samsung Galaxy 551, which has now been discontinued. I went for it purely because it was the only relatively new Android with a keyboard I could find. I must have a keyboard. My OCD is not compatible with a touchscreen at all.

My parents bought all of these things for me. Well, mum went halves with me on the Docs, but everything else they got. I'm not entirely sure why they're being so nice (or rather I should say I am suspicious of my dad's motives, but I'm sure this will emerge in due time as always) but I am very grateful all the same. Awesome things are awesome! Yay!

In other news, watched the Doctor Who finale. Oh Em Gee, people! 'Silence will fall when the oldest question is asked. The question hidden in plain sight.' It’s so deceptively simple that it’s genius. I was rather pleased with the finale, even if I saw the beach thing coming. But I like the underlying idea behind it – it’s sort of an allegory for the show’s success in a way. But I can’t really get into it without spoiling things and it’s only showing here next week. So.

I also watched the Merlin premiere, cause I figured if I didn’t take things into my own hands I would never see it. Such a huge improvement on last season already, well up until the informant was revealed in Camelot. Really, again?? They really need to introduce some sort of security screening or something. At least with Morgana revealed, she gets to do more than smirk evilly – big improvement, even if her amazing wardrobe is going to suffer. I also love having the knights around. Gwaine’s internal monologue must consist entirely of ‘These idiots have no sense of self-preservation’ and I love that Percival has sleeveless armour. Haha. Also, Lancelot being around is always a nice change cause at least someone knows about Merlin and that sort of dilutes the fact that Arthur is a blind fool. The knights are just awesome, okay? Okay. And Uther! Will there be no shrieking about magickz and rash overreactions? Only time will tell! I think it bodes well for the season though.

Now, is it too early to go to bed? I am absolutely dying from hayfever but the tablets make me sleepy. I'll need to be up early tomorrow too -no doubt I'll have about 200 emails waiting for me. Sigh. Further updates as events warrant!

Music: How I Met Your Mother